Research Writer Interview With Karena
University Writing Level
Hi Karena, what is your educational background?
I have a bachelor's degree in French and International Relations from St. Cloud State University, a state university in Minnesota. I graduated in 1992 with a GPA of 3.76. The International Relations program was interdisciplinary and required coursework in political science, economics, history, geography and a comprehensive examination in the field. I also studied in France as an undergraduate and am relatively fluent in French.
My master's degree is from the University of Southern California in the School of Public Administration. My degree concentrations were in international political economy and development and public administration. This unique degree provided me the opportunity to delve further into international relations (politics) and economics, while providing me a solid foundation in core public administration areas like finance, management, and organizational behavior. My GPA in graduate school was 3.85. I studied and worked in Indonesia as part of this degree program as well.
I have further training in copyediting from the University of California, San Diego and further language training in French and Spanish.
Tell me about your writing background.
I have been writing and editing freelance since 1999 in several areas: academic research, journalistic reporting, business, and editing. I have worked with several academic research companies and enjoy the work. I am good at what I do, and have never had a client complain or request a re-write. In fact, I have had repeat customers who have specifically requested me as their writer. My journalistic reporting experience is documented on my resume. I was published in a small monthly family-oriented newspaper writing articles on the pro-life movement, education reform, and other topics. I have edited and written grant proposals for education and research funding, non-profits, and other organizations. I am currently working on a business plan for a client as well.
What qualities make you a good candidate for our company?
I enjoy working for myself, I am self-motivated, detail-oriented, and thrive on deadlines. I am a very good writer, as I indicated above. Furthermore, I have taught at the university level, and know very well what constitutes a good paper, having corrected many of them! I have a tremendous sense of satisfaction in completing a project and enjoy the learning process along the way. I loved being in college because I love to learn, and this way it is sort of like being in school, but with three major benefits: I get paid for my skills and abilities, I work as much or as little as I want to, and I don't have the stress of tests and grades! I am excellent at multi-tasking, as you will read about the many things I am juggling all at once.
What are your favorite types of projects?
I will be frank here in that obviously, time is money. So in order to maximize my earning potential, it makes sense to choose projects that are in my area of expertise that I can write well and quickly. But I never compromise on quality and of course there are instances where you get into a project and it becomes more work than you thought and you just have to keep going. My favorite topics are in the social sciences (especially advanced political science) and business or public administration. But I have written in many academic areas, which are indicated on my resume. My least favorite would be English literature and the natural sciences, because I just don't have a lot experience in that area and don't feel as comfortable writing about it. So it would be rare that I would pick something in those areas, unless I had already written about it before.
What other interesting things can you tell us about yourself?
I am fluent in French, know some Spanish, and absolutely love to travel and use my language ability. But I haven't been able to do so for some time because the real love of my life is my family-I have a wonderful husband who is a professor at the local university (in chemistry of all things-my most hated subject in school!) and four boys-ages 10, 8, 5, and 2. I also manage property on the side (9 units in an apartment building) and another house. My life is extremely full, but I enjoy it that way. I am very proficient at the piano, clarinet, and voice, having studied all of those things for more than 12 years and my family (parents and brother) are in the musical theatre business. I live out in the middle of nowhere (at least it feels that way) on a 40 acre hobby farm in Pennsylvania, where I have the best of both worlds-access to the outside world through my computer and technology, and the ability to enjoy nature. It can get a bit lonely at times, but my crazy family keeps me occupied! I am an avid runner and have completed two marathons as well-Rock 'n Roll in San Diego in 2001 and Philadelphia in 2004.
Thank you very much for your time!
Random writer: /writer-ted